by Claudia Dobkins Dikinis
Written in Nerja, Spain, 1975
Dedicated to the Memory of George Behrman
NOCTURNE No. 1Walls advance toward the moon;
she pulls them to her in nets.
The Balcon de Europa is unhinged.
With it flows a flurry of Spanish scarves.
The sky splits itself like rotted melon.
beaches are empty
terrazzo floors are ground into sand. We sit on a broken rowboat
sucking on Spanish wine.
Dead crabs, bellies turned up,
glow purple in match light. I hold seashells in brown fingers.
A man I used to love sits next to me.
He is gray as dark waters
bearded as Neptune. No voice breaks the spell of what we are unraveling
Night calls and shadows make pictures
on the hotel wall. We gather salt and dried corals in my skirt.
The air is between our touches
and the sea swallows our silence.
NOCTURNE No. 2Orphans (For Brett Rutherford) A stone alone burns a flame.
A stone alone burns a white fire. The beach at night is luminous,
stones catch fish eyes
sand finds its mirror. Stones roll from the dead rock.
Inside its heart volcanic voices murmur.
A stone alone burns like an orphan,
Deer come down from the mountain,
wind echoes its secret sighs. The dead rock chips off another piece of itself.
A new stone breathes for the first time.
In the dark,
overtake the world.
NOCTURNE No. 3Gold,
honey fire in a box,
hot in Cordoban sun.
An auburn lake melts,
the musk in my thighs
perfumes to street steam glory.
A treasure chest,
I paint my lips like a courtesan,
a huntress must paint before the dance!
With red cheeks,
and open petals of fire,
I think of my first menses.
NOCTURNE No. 4Something magic is in our carved epitaphs.
We cut pictures in water,
Arm over arm we mark fathoms,
fish make hieroglyphics in sand. I know the sea the way a gypsy knows hands:
in the moon she turns her palm of grief to silver We lean against fig trees to watch mountain goats.
Soft sacs of brown milk swing like a woman's hips. They have their kids but ours
dry in my skirt as we walk the path
toward arid country. The leaves fall reda and brown,
like a menses or an auburn curl
their undone promises gossip
in gutters of grayness. We orbit a strange perfume,
it lurks like an apparition. Sleep rips the thread between us,
a frayed curtain is drawn through dreams. The sky is a luminous cloud
the sun is painted with astrology.
I know we are leaving who we are
by the voodoo drumming in your fingers.
The birds fly south. . . .like exit signs . . .
Copyright © 1975-2010 by Claudia Dobkins Dikinis